13 November 2005

Winter warmers on the patch

It's slowly starting to get colder round here, but I still think it's still ridiculously mild for mid November. I layered up for an early morning walk round Leam Valley today but just a few hundred yards from the house I began to think I might pass out from the heat (not hot as such, but certainly a good 5/6 centigrade). After a quick adjustment I set off minus one layer, a hat and the gloves, and strolled the mile or so down to the reserve.

I had one bird very much in mind this morning, and found it almost immediately - Redpoll. Three darker birds (Lesser) and one pale, almost frosted bird (Mealy?) were feeding off wiry grasses, surrounded by Blue and Great Tits. Although Redpoll are not uncommon in the winter, I don't see too many of them - indeed these were my first for 2005. Such long and clear views were a real treat.

As I moved along the river I found plenty more to be pleased with - Redwing feeding in the hawthorn trees, a splendid male Bullfinch attacking berries with gusto, Goldcrest hopping frantically through the trees, and a male Reed Bunting - another common but hard-to-find-in-these-parts bird.

The scrape was empty, so I headed across the fields up to Offchurch, the neighbouring village. I found few birds but enjoyed the walk enormously.

2 comments:

Rob Williams said...

Marc,

Good to see you saw some redpoll. I saw my first today, in two different places. Last winter I didn't see any until Feb. I've also seen more siskins around this year.

I was surprised to see two cormorants flying over my local river this morning, first time ever around here.

Very cold this morning here!


Rob

Hornet said...

Haven't seen Siskins for ages - had some in my garden once last winter, and I think that was it. Fingers crossed this winter.